At least nine people have been killed when an interstate bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The accident happened at rush hour hurling vehicles into the Mississippi River witnesses say the bridge became a dust cloud as it plummeted. Cars were crushed as huge slabs of concrete crashed down. Authorities say 20 people are missing with 60 other being treated for injuries.
The 150-meter span of steel and concrete, which carried an 8 lane highway buckled and fell 20-meters into the river. It was packed with commuter traffic at the time. The 40-year-old bridge was undergoing resurfceing repairs though govenor Tim Pawlenty said the construction had been inspected in 2005 and 2006 and no structural defects had been detected.
However a study carried out by the Minnesota Transportation Department in 2001 found “several fatigue problems” in the bridges approach spans and “poor fatigue details on the on the main truss.
On average 100,000 cars a day cross the bridge.